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Gibelet Fortress

Byblos District

· Mount-Lebanon

During the crusader invasion of the Levant, a series of fortresses were built along the coastline of Lebanon for defensive and economic purposes.

The 12th Century castle of Byblos was built from local limestone, especially sandstone, and the remains of Roman structures.

The fortress belonged to the Genoese Embriaco family, whose members were the Lords of Gibelet.

The fortress fell to Saladin by the end of the 11th century and partially dismantled its walls.

The Crusaders recaptured later on the fortress and rebuilt its fortifications. The fortress fell later on to the Mamluks and was left during the Ottoman era.

The Crusader castle of Gibelet is the finest example of a new 12th-century type, which mixes the castrum-type with the turris-type castle: a roughly square set of walls strengthened by corner towers, built around a central donjon, thus forming two layers of defense.

The fortress dominates today the archaeological site of Byblos and houses a museum that reflects the history of the city.

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